March 26, 2012 in Restaurants
Welcome to a review about my favorite wine bar in Mile End. A place where you can get a non-buttery Chardonnay, because the waiters know their stuff. A place where you can try many different dishes, because the portions are tapas-sized. A place with a vibrant atmosphere that doesn’t prevent you from having a relaxed conversation with your buddies. And finally, a place that provides a sure escape from the shot-popping 19-year olds that can’t handle their liquor. (Does anyone else feel like they’re invading our classy personal space at various used-to-be-awesome-pre-encroachment nightlife spots?)
I was with two friends, and it seems that we were all in the mood for the same food. We each ordered a plate of the mixed vegetables ($8) and as usual, they were slightly charred but still crunchy – exactly what grilled veggies should be.
Next, my friend had the octopus and potato salad with mixed greens ($13). I won’t lie, we were all a little bit disappointed. The salad was cold (we thought it would be warm) and it wasn’t exceptional. Sure, it was decent, but we certainly didn’t oooh and aaah.
When we tried the Lapsang-tea marinated salmon with fennel cream and apple ($9 tapas, $16 main), we were back on track. I could really taste the tea infusion, and it was delicious. Although fennel with salmon isn’t a new idea, one must admit that classics are classics because they work.
Finally, I had the lamb chops with tempura artichokes and homemade béarnaise ($11). I order it every time I go to Bu. It’s just insanely delicious. The lamb is juicy and the béarnaise is perfect. Together, they’re ah-mha-z-ing.
We all finished with the chocolate fondant ($7). Again a dessert we’ve all had before, and again, very well executed.
That’s the thing about Bu – don’t expect particularity creative dishes, but do expect lip-smacking flavour pairings that you’ll recognize and love. Also, Bu has a nice mix of lighter and heavier dishes which, along with the tapas sizes, allows everyone to order according to their personal hunger levels. With, of course, a great glass (or 3) of wine, for you know, proper digestion. Or something.
Food 8.5/10, Atmosphere 9/10, Music 8.5/10, Pretty people 8.5/10, Service 8/10.